Currently, it is against the law to "rip" a CD to extract its contents for use on a computer or MP3 player. The same would hold true for other entertainment such as DVDs and even for Paper books (to be scanned, converted to a suitable format and then placed on an eBook reader). These items are priced well in excess of their material cost, so the remainder is a fee for the license to enjoy the entertainment and recompense for the artist. Currently the law force one to repurchase the same entertainment rather than allowing a media shift.
I propose that media shifting ANY legitimately obtained item is made legal, and moreover, downloading ANY copy of an item you have legally purchased is also made legal. I have countless VHS tapes and compact cassettes which are now outmoded, damaged, or otherwise impractical to play, and I have no way of transferring. I would like to be able to continue to experience these without the need to purchase equipment or the items themselves again.
The license I paid for when I purchased these items does not state that I must gain the permission of the copyright owner, merely that it must be "authorised". Changing the law would give this authorisation.
Why is this idea important?
The entertainment industries are flexing their collective muscles when it comes to illegal downloading. They publish figures suggesting that BILLIONS of pounds are being lost to illegal file sharing and such. It is grossly unfair for them to label people who download copies of CDs they bought up to 25 years ago but which are now damaged or lost. They bought the entertainment but because of relatively poor production methods then, their Music is not now realistically available for them to enjoy.
This law would redress them imbalance and for these industries to recognise that some people merely want to listen to what they have already handed over very generous amounts for. The recording industries got fat off these purchases, but they are uninterested in allowing these same people to continue listening to these items.
It should be pointed out that the big manufacturers who cry foul at copyright infrigement actually supply ripping technology (i am looking at you Apple, with your iTunes). Surely they cannot cry foul for people copying their software when they themselve condone the very same act with CDs.